Next year's event in Dublin will attract many leading Catholic figures

The organisers of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next year have said they hope the event will help to reinvigorate the Irish Church.

Delegates from some 70 countries met on June 1-3 to hear plans for the events that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin described as a “vital element in the reform agenda of the Irish Church”.

Participants at congress, which takes place on June 10-17, 2012, will hear reflections, catechesis and workshops from leading bishops and theologians. A day devoted to ecumenical communion through baptism will be led by the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Michael Jackson.

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Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will preside at a day dedicated to reconciliation. That session will also be addressed by Richard Moore, who was blinded by a British Army rubber bullet in Northern Ireland in 1972. Mr Moore subsequently tracked down the soldier who fired the round and established a friendship with him.

Other senior Church leaders who have so far been confirmed to lead events are Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris.

Fr Kevin Doran, secretary-general of the 2012 congress, said that he expected around 25,000 people to participate in the catechesis and workshops and 80,000 to participate in the concluding Mass. The theme for the congress is “The Eucharist: Communion With Christ and With One Another”.

To raise awareness about the event a congress bell has been taken to parishes and Catholic schools around Ireland. In each community the bell is rung as a sign of invitation to the Dublin event.

More information is available on the congress website, Iec2012.ie.

The Irish Church will host a national eucharistic congress at Knock shrine, in County Mayo, on June 25-26.

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